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Texas A&M Basketball

1-on-1 with Admon Gilder: On his road to Texas A&M, family life & more

February 1, 2018

On his knee injury….

“I’m feeling good. I just know one thing — I’m playing, and that’s the main thing that I was thinking about. 'Am I going to be able to play?' – when I found out that I had the injury. So being able to be on the floor is just an amazing thing.”

On recovering from his injury and getting back on the court….

“It’s very hard. I’m also the type of guy where this is my first major injury, so this just put a toll on me mentally and so it had me thinking a lot. And I’ve just got to also work on different aspects of my game. So, now I’m playing, and that’s the key thing I’m really looking forward too.”

On getting back on the court while still not 100%...

“Just being able to take care of my body, that’s the main thing. And you know, just learning new things — you watch NBA players or college players that have had the same type of injuries, just being able to know how to use my body for a shield in certain times and just being able to stay out of traffic as much as possible.”

On growing up in Dallas…

“Life for me in Dallas was wherever (I could) get a basketball, a soccer ball. Me and my dad, we traveled everywhere. We always worked out 24/7. If you’ve seen my dad, you see us out there either running or running a hill or playing with a basketball, playing catch with him or just doing some type of activity, like outdoor sports or indoor sports.”

On his favorite sport other than basketball….

“Football. I love football — I was the type of guy who I just loved hitting guys, and so it just came second nature to me because my dad coached football for a certain amount of time at Pinkston High School. And so I was always around it and so basketball I think it has a little more – it’s more like year round, and so I got the experience in the AAU circuits and everything, just seeing what can basketball can lead you. It led me to play in the AAU Nationals in Orlando, Florida — just everywhere across the country.”

On a possible future in football…

“I thought football could be in my future and it came to where I played seventh grade football at Gaston Middle School and my best friend, Joseph, got in an accident and a couple more people. And then I transferred and went to Triple-A Academy. And what it was, was they didn’t have a football team. And so having to sit out that whole year – and I went to Madison my ninth grade year. Me and my dad talked about me being able to sit for football that long. You have to be in physical shape, and I wasn’t ready for that. So, I went to Madison and I had the head coach, Damien Mowgli – where he was an amazing coach — he made us run on the track and around the neighborhood, anywhere we could run we would run in. We were in the best condition in the city.”

On his family…  

“My mom is a strong-nosed woman, who has always been there for my entire family. She’s the type of person that puts others first before she put herself, and she’s battling breast cancer. She’s a five-year survivor, but she’s still getting treatment to make sure it doesn’t come back. She’s the strongest woman I know. And she’s always at every game she can make it to. She’s always saying she has to work to put food in my hand and on the table for the family.

"And my dad he’s that guy that he’s from the Dallas area too. He’s from South Dallas and that’s where I went to school. So that’s where the bond went from Madison and me going there and everything. He’s just that guy where he has his own way of thinking. He’s a deacon at our church. He’s a big believer in his faith, and that’s one thing my family and I have been doing our entire life. He put the ball in my hand, and he took me to church every Sunday. Every Sunday. And when we had those AAU circuits where we had a morning Sunday game, sometimes I wasn’t able to go because I had to go to church and hopefully my team wins the next game so I can get there.”

“Either that or we would sit down and talk about Bible stuff. He’d send me these long text messages and I’ve got many of those, just talking about life not just basketball, so I think he’s done a really good job of balancing being in my life.”

On his first state championship run at Madison and the news his mother had breast cancer…

“Win it for her. That was the motivation. And also, I got this tattoo for her because she was going through it, and it’s basically Philippians 4:13 — and it basically talks about how I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. People always told her that she’s going to have to have the fight, and she always told people, 'I’m a firm believer in God, and as long as I’ve got God on my side, I can do all things.'”

On winning the State Championship and playing for his mom…

“It was amazing because knowing that she’s fighting with her breast cancer, why can’t I go and fight for 40 minutes hard? That’s been my motto every time I set foot on the floor and just knowing that seeing her happy makes me happy, I’m all for it.”     

On what his name means…

“Admon means 'admonishes.' If you know the word, it’s in the dictionary. But I’m actually the third. It’s my grandfather has the name as well, my dad has the name so we just have different last names — my grandfather’s name is Burkes. So, my dad took his mom’s husband’s last name so I’m proud to be named 'Admon Gilder.' It’s basically after my dad and all the things he accomplished for my family and everything that he’s done for me, my sister and my brother and also I have a daughter now. You know, just being a man that we always look up too.”

On playing at the next level….

“That’s been the ultimate goal. I had C.J. Mouse – he went to my church so seeing that at an early age and seeing where his family went through – the draft part, seeing him just become instantly famous and to be able to play on TV, that’s just something that I always looked up too. And so, I won state my sophomore year. I won state my junior year. That’s when I really started getting the recognition, and then I started getting accepted to go to top camps against the best guys and guys telling me I can be this one day, and I just look forward to it and always remain humble but also put the work in.”          

On his voice for radio or TV….

“I think mostly because my voice changed. I had a high-pitched voice as a kid and once it got deeper it got slower.”

On his daughter...

“It changed me mentally just knowing that I have somebody in this world that’s looking up to me one day. She’s actually young right now. She knows who I am, she calls me ‘Dada,’ here and there — she’s starting to talk. She’ll be two years old March the fourth, so it’s the day before I think we play Alabama. So we got that loss to Alabama, and that’s the thing I’m going to look forward to is getting a win for her and be able to celebrate with her.”

“I get to see her every home game. My mom and dad bring her down. She’s from Dallas. I FaceTime her every night. She’s a character — you turn your eyes away from her and she’s probably going somewhere, like running through everything.”

On picking A&M…

“My best friend Elijah Thomas – we’ve been best friends since second grade, and we always thought about going to school together and what people don’t know is, Elijah Thomas, he was like number five in the country at one point so he could’ve went anywhere. But, he always had that mindset of, 'I want to take my best friend with me as long as we came from the same neighborhood and always spend time together.' Then next thing you know we played on the same AAU team together with D.J. Hogg and then Tyler Davis. We saw them always in circuit. Basketball players in a circuit, they keep a really good connection with each other, and we talked about how we could have like a great freshmen class. We always look back and called ourselves the Fab Four. And we separated, but we still have bits of it, me Tyler and D.J. and we're still going on for it.”

On his motivation based on where he was recruited…

“I basically just go and step on the court to play every game like it’s my last. Now, this injury has made me realize it can be taken away from me at any given moment and so just basically go out there and give it my all."

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1-on-1 with Admon Gilder: On his road to Texas A&M, family life & more

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